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In Scandinavian countries, to legally become an adult here you have to pass a trial associated with one of the gods. Three common ones are:

1.Every town square has a model of Thor’s hammer. If one boy or two girls are able to carry it around the square, they pass Thor’s Trial and become Disciples of Thor. They are successful as everything from coal miners to cannon fodder on the battlefield.

2.If you’re able to defeat the village elder in a game of intellect, like chess, you pass Odin’s Trial. Some of the hipper elders accept games like Starcraft and Magic the Gathering. The Disciples of Odin are often thought to all be nerds, but actually they have significant numbers of geeks as well.

3.If you pass one of the other trials by cheating, and it’s later admitted or discovered, you pass Loki’s Trial. The Disciples of Loki often go on to become successful businessmen and politicians, which ensures we don’t get laughed at for having really stupid people making terrible deals.
"I passed the Trial of the Gods."

"By cheating!"

"That's a valid way of passing."


"Because it shows I cheat well."

"Is that good?"

"If you can lift Thor's hammer, sure you can lift a hammer. But if you can make people think you can, you can make them think anything."

"Are either of those things as important as chess skills though?"
by Effective Altruism June 29, 2016
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